(The writer’s warning: I considered titling this post guaranteed to offend. My guess is that some portion of it will offend every single person who reads it. It’s one of the things that makes my life so interesting: having many friends with many disparate opinions. Still, be warned – it’s a rant. And if it makes you feel any better, I am offended by parts of it, too – and I wrote it.)
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been haunted by a phrase in God’s word. It’s early in his message to us. Genesis 1:26:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
My earliest memory of this passage was from the good old King James’ version of the Bible, which reads: let them have dominion over…
Dominion and rule. In essence, the same word. The same meaning. Rule is defined as having dominion and dominion is defined as ruling over. They imply governance…control…management…power.
That is an ominous thought in itself – that humans have governance over everything on earth. But, it’s the words that precede dominion that have caused me so much trouble of late. Let them. We didn’t take control. We didn’t seize dominion. We haven’t gotten to this place and this time by our own volition. We have been given dominion by a sovereign Creator who asked us simply to care for His creation.
You see, I believe God is the Creator, and that He loves His creation. I do believe that we are the most beloved of His creations. But I don’t believe that diminishes the love He has for His landscape and His seas and every thing that calls either home. I picture a God laughing with joy at each wave of His hand and what appeared. And I picture His sadness when things go awry.
So the news of the last few months – from the coal mine disaster in West Virginia, to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, to wild horses in the American west being rounded up and slaughtered, to the aerial gunning of wolves (and now bears) by brave hunters from helicopters, to, well, you fill in the blank – has made me pause to reflect.
And so no one thinks I’ve become just another environmentalist freak (like I really care anyway), I’m also taken aback by 42,000,000 (zeros for effect!) induced abortions worldwide every year, continued genocide across the continent of Africa, Christian persecution in U.S.-occupied Iraq, and closer to home, the abuse that I see first hand of children given refuge at the children’s home where Henry provides pet therapy.
It all distresses me, and makes a question pop into my head that I cannot make go away:
How’re we doing with that dominion thing?
For my answer, click here.